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So I have done a decent amount of drywalling recently and know of a few techniques that can be done when patching holes. I am curious if someone with much more drywall experience can help define a better method?

So far what I know as techniques are:

  1. Just using joint compound to fill the hole
  2. Sticking drywall tape or some other mesh across a hole and then placing joint compound on top of it
  3. Screwing the drywall directly to a stud or other 2x4 support behind it if one is exposed and available, tape around edges, joint compound on top.
  4. Installing an entire 4 x 8 sheet where both sides get plenty of screws, tape on edges, then joint compound on tape
  5. Installing a support behind, anchoring to it, tape, joint compound

So I would assume that:

  • Technique 1 can be used for very small holes. Probably 1/2 inch or smaller?
  • Technique 2 can be used for slightly larger holes than technique 1 but at what size does this seem to be ineffective?
  • Technique 3 and 4 are always a good choice when available but they are not always available as sometimes the hole is not big enough to do these. Is it better to make the hole bigger so one of these can be used?
  • I have used technique 5 mostly for ceilings where any installed drywall that is too large will simply fall off.

So my question is basically when should you use each technique? Am I missing any or should any I listed not be used?

  • This is a really broad question that basically calls for a manual to be written. You'll probably need to simplify it to ask about your particular situation. – isherwood Apr 4 at 12:53
  • I like the Hyde drywall clips for smaller holes: grainger.com/product/…! There is another size for 5/8" thick drywall. – Jim Stewart Apr 4 at 13:54
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  1. Just using joint compound to fill the hole... for very small holes

Yes, but there is an (arguably) better, quicker drying alternative called spackle.

  1. Sticking drywall tape or some other mesh across a hole and then placing joint compound on top of it... for slightly larger holes

Yes, but anything bigger than say, 1 1/2" should have support in the back (there are various easy ways to provide support) and will take several applications due to shrinkage upon drying. Drywall joint compound is not really a "patching" product.

  1. Screwing the drywall directly to a stud... tape around edges, joint compound on top.

I have found that embedding the tape in joint compound, then applying successive feathered coats of joint compound on top works best.

Your "techniques" 4 & 5 are essentially the same except have the same fatal flaw in that you do not mention screwing or nailing the drywall to supports that span the field; fastening large pieces of drywall at the perimeter is not enough.

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